2905 12th Ave. S, 12South
Southerner Ceri Hoover founded her eponymous label in 2013 but only recently opened a brick-and-mortar shop in 12South. Hoover’s leather handbags and shoes are coveted in the city, and in addition to these, the boutique carries incredibly unique jewelry and clothing from independent labels like Reifhaus and Samuji.
Christie Cookie Co.
2606 12th Ave. S, 12South
For a sweet treat in 12South, this new outpost of Christie Cookie’s offers fresh-baked cookies, brownies, and cakes, as well as ice cream sandwiches. We love the integrity with which their goods are made—they don’t use preservatives and use ingredients like chocolate made from sustainably-farmed cocoa beans.
2706 12th Ave S, 12South
Brisket tacos, perfectly smoked ribs, and the burnt-ends platter with cornbread and a side of grits casserole are what keep regulars coming back to this 12South spot. The cocktails are stellar, too—the Bitter Goat is a refreshing lime and ginger beer concoction—and the atmosphere is always buzzing and friendly. There are enough veggie sides to ensure the non-meat-eaters don’t go hungry, and Edley’s is famous for its desserts, like the chocolate fudge pie and banana pudding. For those who can't make it to 12South, there are two other locations in Sylvan Park and East Nashville.
2911 12th Ave. S, 12South
A paleta is a Mexican version of a popsicle—a sweet, frozen pop made with fresh fruit (and sometimes even with vegetables and nuts). This adorable little shop, which was founded by two sisters who grew up in Mexico, makes them fresh daily with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Unsurprisingly, kids go crazy for these.
2526 12th Ave. S, 12South
Bartaco also has a few locations in Connecticut, and you can definitely feel the East Coast vibe when you walk inside: The patio is white-washed with blue cushions and accents, and the hanging pendants inside are made from woven baskets. The garage doors separating the patio from the restaurant open wide on warm evenings, where it's nice to bond with their well-tended cocktail list (favorites are the margarita, the mojito, and a bold blend of chorizo spice, reposado, and mezcal called the CLT). If you’re staying to eat, trays of guacamole, salsa, and an assortment of tacos take the stress out of ordering for a crowd. Their outpost in Atlanta is also a favorite. Photos: Chun Yip So
Five Daughters Bakery
1110 Caruthers Ave., 12South
Between raising a family (they actually do have five daughters) and growing their small business, Five Daughters owners Isaac and Stephanie Meek definitely have their hands full. Isaac comes from a family of bakers—his grandfather baked cakes and his father owned a pizza shop—and he's made this fledgling bakery famous for a 100-layer donut, which tastes like an overly decadent cronut and takes three days to make. Between those magnificent creations and their sister sweets, like paleo donuts (grain, dairy, and sugar-free) and arguably the best cupcakes in town, it's no surprise that they sell out both here and at their Franklin and East Nashville locations, every day.
2608 12th Ave. S, 12South
If you've spent any time perusing the website of Reese Witherspoon's quintessentially Southern lifestyle brand, you'll pretty much know what to expect in the store. Located on 12South, a well-known shopping area, it immediately draws you in with blue-and-white-striped awnings and perennially colorful windows. Once you make it through the shiny navy lacquered doors, you'll find bold floral prints, preppy stripes, and cheeky home goods, like their signature "Totes, Y'all" bags. It's the perfect place to pick up Southern-inspired souvenirs for friends or a cute party dress.
2902 12th Ave. S, 12South
Fresh-tasting Lebanese cuisine is still unfamiliar to a lot of people, and casual Epice (which takes its name from the French word for spice) offers a welcoming way in. Dishes are light and vegetable-heavy—favorites include the lamb shank or the Sayadeya, a lean, spicy filet of fish served with caramelized onions and vermicelli rice.
2316 12th Ave. S, 12South
Josephine is located in 12South along a major shopping thoroughfare, so it's a nice spot to keep in mind before or after an afternoon spent in the neighborhood's boutiques. During the day, light streams in through wide garage windows, and the space is airy and bright—in the evenings, the lights are dim, and the leather banquettes make it a nice, romantic date-night spot. The menu has a little bit of everything, from an excellent whole chicken for two to small plates (don't leave without trying the pretzel bread).
2908 12th Ave. S, 12South
Owned by goop friend Holly Williams, this old-time mercantile occupies an abandoned filling station, which adds to the overall effect. Here, you’ll find a smattering of groceries, plus irresistible home goods, from cookbooks to candles to linens, and a small but mighty beauty section, which conveniently includes the goop organic skin-care line. There's a second location in Franklin.